PDA

View Full Version : Why High Performance IJ Aircraft were no real threat to Allied Pilots



VMF-312_530hawk
11-20-2004, 08:56 PM
Flight and Combat Training

At an early stage in the Pacific War, the IJNAF had made a decision about the conduct of the war which was to have far reaching consequences. Training of new pilots was cut back. This put all of its aerial strength "up front" and enabled it to compete with the Americans and their allies on more even basis. The U.S. embargo on petroleum had been the most immediate cause of the war for the Japanese and they remained short of it for the rest of the war--even after the capture of Dutch oilfields in Indonesia. (The gasoline was not where it was needed. American submarine captains understood this situation and deliberately sought out oil tankers as high-priority targets.)

The Americans, by contrast, chose exactly the opposite strategy after the war was just a few months old. After a short period of trying to put their own stength "up front", they deliberately retained their best pilots as flight instructors for future waves of candidate pilots. They invested large quantities of gasoline in the training of new pilots. They built large numbers of training aircraft and retained increasing numbers of less capable combat planes in the continental U.S. for training purposes as more advanced types became available. To be sure, this meant that during the first year or so of the war, that the U.S. Navy and USAAF would have fewer men and fewer planes "up front".

On the other hand, once this much larger system began to deliver newly trained pilots and new aircraft to the theaters of war, the IJNAF would have no hope of fighting them off. From being sworn in, put through boot camp, put into primary flight training and then into advanced flight training, it took about one year for the U.S. Navy or USAAF to train a pilot and assign him to an operational unit. Significantly, a little over a year after the start of the Pacific War, the pilots of the Imperial Navy began to find themselves outnumbered. It seemed to the front line pilots as if the Americans had inexhaustible sources of warplanes and pilots. And this was somewhat before the Americans were able to introduce newer aircraft types.

Alleged American racial superiority was dangerous nonsense in the life and death situations of aerial combat, but there was an area in which the USA did have a human or manpower advantage. The USA, at that time, had a population of about 150 million, versus Japan's population of about 90 million. However, the age composition of the American population favored young men, so the actual pool of them was substantially larger than the comparable Japanese pool. Of course, the output of American pilots would have to be divided between the Pacific War (South Pacific Theater, South West Pacific Theater), the CBI Theater and the European Theater of Operations (the ETO).

Bad as this situation might have seemed to be from the Japanese side, it was actually worse.

To be sure, this didn't quite make them qualified aviation mechanics or pilots, but most young American men of that generation had driven or maintained an automobile and many of them had also handled guns. In pre-war Japan, individually owned automobiles were a rarity and so were private firearms. In training aviation mechanics and pilots, American instructors could take many things for granted.

In the pre-war years, the IJNAF had chosen to train a very small number of pilots to a very high degree. The modern air force which most closely follows this path is the Israeli Air Force. Note how seriously the Israelis were affected by the loss of about 100 aircraft and pilots in the Yom Kippur war of 1973. The Japanese were at least equally vulnerable to attrition prior to the Pacific War. How could the Japanese have compensated for the loss of 300 pilots at Midway by pre-war standards? If they had had no further losses at all, it would have taken them two or three years to train that many pilots at pre-war rates.

By the middle of 1943, the IJNAF was frantically attempting to overcome all of these disadvantages with tools wholly inadequate to the purpose. The training of pilots was pushed as high as it could be, but there were serious problems. Instructor pilots were still scarce and many potential flight instructors had died at the Battle of Midway, in the Solomon Islands or elsewhere. In the United States, comparable experienced pilots were alive and instructing other pilots. Shortening the amount of training was tried and, by the last year of the war, Japanese pilots were being pushed into combat missions with as little as 100 hours of flight time. (By contrast, American pilots at that stage of the war[1944] would have had more than 300 hours of flight time.) When these pilots entered combat they were terrified novices, easy marks for American pilots. Even rookie American pilots were better off than this. As for experienced Japanese pilots, those who were still alive were also gradually being killed off in combat. Nor did a Japanese student pilot have to die in combat--many of them died in flying accidents, particularly when they were pushed into the cockpits of fast, unforgiving fighters. Flying accidents and training fatalities were common enough in the continental United States, but anecdotes give the impression that they were much more common in Japan.

PLEASE GO READ THE REST

http://www.combinedfleet.com/ijnaf.htm

MY NOTE ***ALLIED EXAMPLE:
VMF-124 and VMF-213 were ordered aboard the USS Essex on December 28, 1944 at Ulithi Lagoon. The Marines replaced our Dive-Bomber Squadron (VB-4). This change meant that the Essex now had a compliment of 55 F6F-5s, 36 F4U-1Ds, and 15 TBM-3Cs.
"At the time of reporting to USS Essex, each pilot had had an average of 12 carrier landings (qualifications in San Diego and Hawaiian area aboard the USS Macassar Straits, USS Saratoga, and USS Bataan). Each pilot had an average total of about 400 hours flight time in the Corsair type fighter." Now compare that to an IJAAF pilot flying a J2M3, Ki-84, or a Ki-100 with only 100-200 hours of TOTAL flight time which probably only a few hours high performance type.
http://www.airgroup4.com/marines.htm

Waldo.Pepper
11-20-2004, 09:46 PM
We know.

Old_Canuck
11-20-2004, 09:55 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Waldo.Pepper:
We know. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I would respectfully disagree. Out of the hundreds who read these posts, some will not yet know.

Tully__
11-20-2004, 10:05 PM
Judging by the comments about aircraft performance being off based on a little basic history, a large number don't know. Good informative post.

VMF-312_530hawk
11-20-2004, 10:15 PM
JUST MAKE SURE YOU GUYS READ ALL OF IT HERE:

"The Imperial Japanese Navy Airforce In The Pacific War" (http://www.combinedfleet.com/ijnaf.htm)

fordfan25
11-21-2004, 01:04 AM
nice post thank you. All though i know every thing there is to know about anything thats known and even things that are not know but how could you know that i know about the things that are not know becouse you dont know about the things that are not known thats only for me to know. do ya know what i mean?

Mozzie_21
11-21-2004, 01:16 AM
That seems to be a large reason as to why we won the war.

The allies just got down and did the right things and did them well and relatively untainted by burocracy.

FI_Macca44
11-21-2004, 05:34 AM
NOW I know.

Old_Canuck
11-21-2004, 09:03 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by fordfan25:
nice post thank you. All though i know every thing there is to know about anything thats known and even things that are not know but how could you know that i know about the things that are not know becouse you dont know about the things that are not known thats only for me to know. do ya know what i mean? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Uh .. hmmmm .. uh ... ok.

Hendley
11-21-2004, 09:14 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Mozzie_21:
The allies just got down and did the right things and did them well and relatively untainted by burocracy. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Interestingly, Stephen Bungay makes a very similar point in The Most Dangerous Enemy vis a vis the Battle of Britain--basically, that the RAF was organizationally better prepared to fight the battle, and was left alone to do so by the British politicians (compare Goering's meddling).

rcocean
11-21-2004, 09:30 AM
Great post.

IRL, pilot compentence, tactics, and sheer numbers were more important than having an airplane 30 MPh faster or with a minor edge in rate of climb.

VW-IceFire
11-21-2004, 09:41 AM
Yep, great post. The best thing the Allies did was in terms of co-ordinated training. Canada was turned into a flying school for Commonwealth pilots...the same was done in the US. By 1944, there was so many pilots available for combat duty that they actually had to scale back the training efforts. I'm sure this had the benefit of easing pressure on frontline pilots who were then cycled back.

Right on the money man. Right on.

chris455
11-21-2004, 11:53 AM
According to Bergerud's Fire in the Sky,
by late 1943 competently trained pilots in the IJAAF were in such short supply that candidates who washed out of flight school were often placed as instructor pilots to free up a competent pilot for the front. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

That's why when someone posts about mythical late-war air battles to the effect that "15 Hellcats were shot down without loss" or "2 Ki-100 defeated 14 Corsairs" etc., I can't help but think about how well the propagandists in Tokyo did their job of hiding the disasters which had befallen them- the majority of them due to Japan's own miscalculations and poor judgement regarding their capabilities vis a vis that of the Allies.

DuxCorvan
11-21-2004, 12:37 PM
As a soccer coach said recently to press: "We won because we scored more"... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-tongue.gif

Silly as it seems, that's a valid sinopsis.

As for the original post, yes, most of us knew, but it's interesting. And a well designed total campaign should reflex this in the quality of both sides AI. Luftwaffe vs VVS also experimented a similar evolution. At first, the veterans of Spain and Blitzkrieg met the relative newbie Russians after their Spain War veteran instructors had been decimated by Stalin's purges. As the war passed, more and more 'experten' fell victim of continuous war, as Soviet -and all allied- air forces grew both in the quality and number of planes and its endless source of human resources.

An old story. Interesting, tho.

RAC_Pips
11-21-2004, 01:05 PM
In the broader scheme of things it was the Allies industrial power that won the war - especially that of America. And their ability to harness the power of their population.

Given that both Britain and the US withstood the initial onslaught by Japan, it was only a matter of time and effort when the Allies natural resources - in both skilled men and material - would overwhelm Japan. As someone mentioned earlier America's ability to take the time to build up an enormous cadre of highly skilled pilots, while holding the fort with minimal numbers, emphasises it's industrial ability. Which dwarfed that of both Germany and Japan.

A very interesting statistic - that highlights both latent industrial might and the level of industrialisation - is the number of motor vehicles in 1939.

In Japan there were 16 motor vehicles for each 1000 people.
In Germany there were 25 per 1000.
In Britain the figure 54 per 1000.
And in America the figure was a staggering 227 per 1000 people.

t0n.
11-21-2004, 02:12 PM
Excellent post, good read.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Judging by the comments about aircraft performance being off based on a little basic history, a large number don't know. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I still think the performance of late war planes are historically innacurate. The Ki-84 is based on theoretical optimums that just plain didn't exist. Pilots aside, from a manufacturing, maintenance, and fuel standpoint the odds of getting so much as one PF quality airframe in the air were essentially nil.

Still, I've got no beef with the FM's. The Air Forces are relatively balanced, and balance makes for good gaming. This is afterall a game.

VBF-83_Hawk
11-21-2004, 02:24 PM
"This is a game"

Indeed it is and is why the FMs are modeled the way they are. Over the past years, as well as in the future the FMs will flip back and forth to keep guys from comming and going. Its buisness!

I say set FMs realistic for coop missions and balance them for furballing!!!

ElAurens
11-21-2004, 03:48 PM
A very interesting post. I am currently reading Fire In The Sky as well. It just seems that after their initial successes in the Pacific, that the Imperial Japanese High Command made one blunder after another. Basing their plans in the Pacific agianst the US and Great Britian on the success of their tactics in China. Failing to capitalize on the time they initially gained to build suitable infrastructure. etc... The Japanese would much later call this "victory desease".

Another telling fact about US industrial prowess is the oft quoted axiom that the US had enough aircraft unassigned to pilots at the end of the war to fight the whole war over again.

k5054
11-21-2004, 04:30 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> RL, pilot compentence, tactics, and sheer numbers were more important than having an airplane 30 MPh faster or with a minor edge in rate of climb. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Maybe so, but it's hard to think of any time when a fighter force giving away a 30mph advantage on its main equipment was able to sustain superiority. In WW1 or WW2 terms, it's never happened. Fast planes keep young pilots alive, then the pilots get to be aces later.
Sheer numbers in slow planes are just targets.

Aztek_Eagle
11-21-2004, 04:38 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Old_Canuck:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Waldo.Pepper:
We know. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I would respectfully disagree. Out of the hundreds who read these posts, some will not yet know. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

i knew to

Mozzie_21
11-21-2004, 04:58 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by RAC_Pips:
In the broader scheme of things it was the Allies industrial power that won the war - especially that of America. And their ability to harness the power of their population.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I remember reading that the B-29 had a million design flaws, and that many though that it could never be fixed, but it flew within a year. Boeing just slvaed away at it and fixed the problems using brute force.

In any case with the sheer volume of material that the US and Russia produced in the second world war, the Ki84 and Ki100 could have been super planes, even with the Ta152 and Me262 it wouldn't have mattered.

MiamiEagle
11-22-2004, 12:32 AM
VMF Thats one of the best post I have ever read. Thank you for your input and time in giving us all this information on the Air War in the Pacific. I beleive the more information we have the more we will enjoy this game. This game is a playable reality base game. This kind of information will help us understand what really what happen during that period of time in History.
There are several point missing as well.
One was that the Japanese had a very rigid way of thinking when it came to Military doctrine and that prevented them from using their resources in a more effecient ways.
They always thought about offence and seldom put much effort in defensive planning.
For that reason they keept the Zero in service longer than it should have. They should have replace it by 1943.
They where not able to improve the Zero in any significant way that would have made it capable to over come its defeciencies.
They where never able to produce very powerfull engines during the war. That ment that their plane best performance was alway below 20,000Ft.
The Japanese also very had poor concept of coordinated air formations. Their Idea was for every Pilot to fence for them self as best as tactic allowed. This does not mean that they never practice coordinated air Battles. It just mean that they never put as much effort to its doctrine as other Air Forces did during the war.
All that been said. They still put up a better fight than Official History tend for us to beleive.
I use to beleive the official lines for many years until I started to think a little more in depth and started to do mure resourch.
Let me give you one example.
Do you guys really beleive that flying Tigers really shoot down 292 planes during the Burma Campaing 1942.
The reality is that the Japanese Airforce was over extended and they bearly had over 300 planes available for the Burma Campaing.
The Japanese never lost control of the air space over Burma once. General Alexander always complain during the Burma campaing that every time he looked up there was always Japanese Bombing his forces.
most of the fighter facing the the Flying tigers and the allies where Ki27 and not Zeros like many History Books tend to have us beleive.
This is just one example of many inacruccies of the Pacific war taken for reality.
The Flying tigers are more my Heroes now than before as I realize how vunerable and scare they really where. How much sacrifice they had to endure the war.
This does not mean that they did not shoot down many Japanese planes their short existance.
Just not as many as they claim. Read Ford Flying Tigers Book and you will see what I mean.
When I read all does claims of 10:1 ratio in our favor in almost evey campaing that we fought against the Japanes makes me laugh every time.
Yes there where times that the Japanese where beaten in Ratios of 10:1 or greater but not as often as History has lend us to beleive.
They where just not as whippy as Historians and Official of the Era made sound it like.
If you go to the Official Pearl Harbor Web and you read what the News Paper at the time wrote about the attack you will see what I mean.
They reported that the few planes that where able to get off the ground and fight the Japanese on equal footings almost alway won their fight. Thus showing to the public that our Air Force was better than theirs once we where on equal terms.
This way a enemy that we considered bearly abouve Monkeys.
This was the enemy been reported by the British press to be unable to fly planes properly because their eyes where too slanted and they had very poor eye sight.
All this degration of the enemy only served to demeant our Air men sacrifices and courage.
It made it seem easy and with little honor in beating a whippy enemy.
The Pacific Air war was a tough proposition no matter how you look at it.It took courage, skill ,guts and sacrifice to win it.
One day the truth will come out and our Airmen in the Pacific will get their propper respect.
This post was written in their Honor.
Miamieagle